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Growing Up Irooni: Sierra Urich, director of Joonam

Leyla Shams
July 05, 2023

In the latest episode of our podcast, we're joined by Sierra Urrich, the director of this insightful documentary. In 'Joonam', Sierra embarks on a personal journey to understand her Iranian identity, bridging the gap between her upbringing in rural Vermont and her family's roots in Iran.

(Please note: Joonam is screening in New York City on July 23d- I'll be there, I hope you can join me! More info here.)

Sierra, like many of our students here at Chai and Conversation, represents the younger generation of the Iranian diaspora, caught between different cultures, languages, and histories. The film delves into the stories of three generations of women and their relationship with Iran, shedding light on their trials, tribulations, and resilience in the face of displacement and conflict.

One of the most intriguing aspects of our conversation is Sierra's experience learning Persian, which she embarked upon to better connect with her Iranian heritage. This resonates profoundly with our work at Chai and Conversation, and offers a fascinating insight into the challenges and rewards of embracing a new language.

This documentary serves as a reminder of the power of storytelling and the importance of understanding our roots. 'Joonam', named after a Farsi term of endearment, offers a deeply moving, sometimes hilariously funny, and always profoundly human insight into the Iranian diaspora.

We're excited for you to listen to this episode. As you delve into Sierra's journey, we hope that you'll be inspired, educated, and perhaps moved in a way you haven't been before. Tune into the podcast now, and don't forget to catch 'Joonam', a poignant tribute to heritage, family, and the journey of self-discovery.

Related Links:

Joonam screening in NYC, RSVP here

Joonam on instagram